In summer 2011 I had the immense pleasure of attending some classes taught by fellow designer and friend Carol Feller. I know it was uncomfortable for her to have me in her classes, and I am very grateful to her for being willing to put up with that discomfort in the interests of helping me to understand some important techniques which at that time confused me, namely seamless armhole constructions, and short row shaping. Those classes were very significant for me, and immediately made a difference to my confidence in designing sweaters. I had only designed 2 sweaters before then, and was very uncertain about how to deal with armholes. Carol Feller kindly laid the foundations for many of the designs I have done since!
The classes were brilliant; clear, authoritative, well-paced, and inspiring, and Carol’s new book, ‘Short row Knits’, delivers the same level of exellence. On the cover it is described as ‘A Master Workshop’, and it truly is so. Indeed it goes further than the short row class I attended, answering the questions which have arisen for me since, eg how to work short rows in reverse stocking stitch. The section, titled ‘Beyond the Basics’ will prove particularly useful to knitters who already have some experience of short rows.
I am particularly impressed by the clarity of the technique diagrams, through which Carol teaches various permutations of 4 distinct styles of short row methods; wrap and turn, Japanese, yarn over, and German short rows. The latter style are fairly new to me, and are rapidly becoming my favourite as a less fiddly way of producing almost as neat a result as the Japanese method. I want to play some more with this method to see if I can develop a better heel turn with it than with my ‘go-to’, the wrap and turn heel.
Of course the book includes lots of wonderful designs, 20 in all, which Carol uses to teach many differing applications of short rows, eg heels, shoulder shaping, raising back necks, bust darts, seamless set-in sleevecaps, sideways hat shaping, shawl shaping, etc… My favourites are Chirripo (child’s ball toy), Riyito (jumper), Largarto (jumper) and Zapote (child’s jacket).
Thank you Carol for this wonderful book, and for continuing to inspire me!